Once Again, Evil Republicans Making War on the Poor
"Guess what? Paul Ryan is doing it on the backs of poor people and seniors...He's not doing anything in terms of raising taxes to compensate and say, 'you know what, the sacrifice is going to be shared across all areas of our economy.' The rich get off like scoundrels. They're happy, they're like the executives on Wall Street this week who are getting all these big bonuses....Everyone says we've got to have tax cuts, we've got to have sacrifice for this country - oh, it's just for the middle class and especially those despicable poor people."
- Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday, April 10.
"You voted to give tax cuts to the richest Americans, the top two percent, you gave them tax cuts of about $800 billion over a decade, which is exactly what you guys are saying we now need to cut from health care for the poorest Americans. That was a trade off that you made. How can you justify that as a matter of ethics, morality or simply good conscience?...You are driving the government to bankruptcy and then balancing the budget on the backs of the poor...."
- CNN's Eliot Spitzer to Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, In the Arena, April 5.
Ryan's Budget Would "Kill Half" of Matthews' Audience
"Most people who follow the news and watch the newspapers every day and watch television shows like this on Fox or this network, MSNBC, or anywhere, on CNN, they - those most attuned to this debate over the budget are either retired or close to it....Let them [Republicans] offer a big slash in Medicare, which is going to kill half the people who watch this show."
- Chris Matthews talking about the House GOP budget plan on MSNBC's Hardball, April 11. [Audio/video (0:28): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Don't Reduce Government Spending or "People Will Starve to Death"
"I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry....These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts - they'd barely make a dent - will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now."
- New York Times food writer Mark Bittman in a March 30 op-ed, "Why We're Fasting."
As Always: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit
"Representative Paul Ryan's 2012 budget, released today, includes reforms, what they call reforms, and also big cuts in housing assistance, job training, and food stamps, all of which would have a very big impact on particularly poor and minority communities, some say."
- Andrea Mitchell on her 1pm ET MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, April 5.
"If it [the proposed Republican budget] respects the Treasury, what it does not respect are women's rights, what it does not respect is the environment. Is it going to undermine potential success here if you force social issues on to the budget table?"
- Daytime anchor Contessa Brewer to Republican Congressman Mike Pence on MSNBC Live, April 1.
"Poor white people, poor black people are the ones who are oppressed by the right wing in this country, but they don't seem to get that. They vote against their own interests all the time."
- Headline News host Joy Behar on her Joy Behar Show, April 12.
Touting Victims of the Shutdown That Never Happened
"The shutdown will stop new funding for medical research and hope for desperate patients....Doctors at the National Institutes of Health would be forced to stop seven new clinical trials, four involving children, next week; and stop admitting new patients at 640 ongoing trials, 60 of them involving children with cancer."
- ABC's Jake Tapper on World News, April 6.
Correspondent Jonathan Karl: "And there's the sixth grade class at Central Elementary in Coleraine, Massachusetts. They've been looking forward to visiting Washington D.C. on Monday."
Unidentified girl: "The government is mean."
Karl: "But now they may be due for an entirely different kind of civics lesson, as most of the city may be shut down."
- ABC's Good Morning America, April 7.
ABC Delights Obama With Anti-Shutdown Sob Story
Correspondent Jake Tapper: "For those who sent in their taxes by mail, tax refunds may not arrive."
Taxpayer J. T. Henderson: "I'm worried how this government shutdown will affect our refund. You know, we are - we live check to check."
- ABC's World News, April 6.
Jake Tapper: "Last night on World News, we told you the story of Louisville, Kentucky's J.T. Henderson, his wife and their adopted son, worried about not receiving the family's desperately needed tax refund because of the possible shutdown....And at least one negotiator was watching."
President Obama: "J.T. said if he could speak directly to all of us in Washington, he'd tell us that all of this political grandstanding has effects as it trickles down to normal, everyday Americans. There is no reason why we should not be able to complete a deal, unless we've made a decision that politics is more important than folks like J.T. Henderson."
- ABC's World News, April 7.
John Boehner, "Hostage" to the "Far Right" Tea Party
"We keep reading that a lot of people think he's being held hostage, as it were, to the Tea Party inside his own party."
- Anchor Diane Sawyer talking about Boehner on World News, April 6.
"John Boehner, the man in the middle this weekend, caught between a rowdy freshman class of hard-line conservatives and the more moderate congressional Republicans who want to deal. Boehner, of course, wants a deal too....It's hard to broker compromise in a town where compromise itself has become a dirty word."
- Host Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week, April 3.
"For those outside the movement, it [the budget fight] put on full display the uncompromising principles of the far right, showing that Tea Party-aligned lawmakers are so ideologically rigid they will throw sand into the gears of government to prove their point."
- Boston Globe reporter Matt Viser, April 9 article.
Matt Took the Spin Right Out of Chuck's Mouth
Matt Lauer: "When you look at some of the things the Tea Party and others on the far right are asking for - no funding for Planned Parenthood, no funding for climate control, public broadcasting - does it seem to you, Senator, that this is less about a fiscal debate or an economic policy debate and they are making an ideological stand here?"
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer: "That's exactly right, Matt. You've hit the nail on the head."
- Exchange on NBC's Today, April 6. [Audio/video (0:31): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Right on Cue, Media Start Chirping for Higher Taxes
"He [Paul Ryan] doesn't deal with the revenue side at all....His goal is to do 18 percent of GDP as revenue. That's not enough. We're going to have to raise some taxes and we're going to have to face up to that..."
- Former Newsweek managing editor Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, April 8.
"Finding a way to raise taxes may well be the central political problem facing the United States."
- New York Times chief economics writer David Leonhardt, April 13.
"Tax increases should not be off the table. I don't know why it is that he somehow suggests the rich in the country have no obligation to support the country....Remember, that there's been extension of the Bush tax cuts. And you're going on as if, 'you know what, we don't know in America how to help our own deficit problems.' We do. We just have to tax people."
- Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday, April 3.
"Is raising taxes on the table?...Why shouldn't the burden be equally shared? Why shouldn't we put some of that burden on the wealthy and corporations?"
- Matt Lauer to Representative Michele Bachmann on NBC's Today, April 13.
"There is this allergy amongst Republicans about saying, 'You know what, we actually do have to deal with taxes too.' And you may have to, God forbid, raise taxes and that it is not a hideously un-patriotic or un-American thing to do to suggest we need more revenue. And what does Paul Ryan do? He actually cuts taxes for the wealthiest, he raises taxes for the very poorest in America."
- Katty Kay, anchor of BBC's World News America, on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, April 8.
Republicans "Shrink" Medicare, While Obama Painlessly "Saves"
"The Republican plan includes a shrinking of Medicare and Medicaid and trillions of dollars in tax cuts, while sparing defense spending. Mr. Obama, by contrast, envisions a more comprehensive plan that would include tax increases for the richest taxpayers, cuts to military spending, savings in Medicare and Medicaid, and unspecified changes to Social Security."
- New York Times budget reporter Jackie Calmes, April 11.
Poor Obama, Facing So Many Problems All At Once
Co-host Matt Lauer: "You said that you haven't, in your memory, you can't recall a time where a president has faced a confluence of events, like the confluence of events taking place right now. Just explain that."
Ex-Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw: "Well, in my adult lifetime. Certainly FDR did have these challenges. But in my adult lifetime and as a reporter, here you have a president who has two wars underway, is engaged in really what is a third war....And then we have, here at home, a recession that we cannot completely get out of yet. And political paralysis in Washington over the budget. All of that has arrived at, at the Oval Office, at the same time."
- NBC's Today, March 29. [Audio/video (1:09): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Impressed by Team Obama's "Deft" Libya Policy
"[U.S. Ambassador] Susan Rice did a remarkable job at the UN. No one could have predicted, even critics of the policy could not predict such a muscular resolution being approved and the abstentions from Russia and China. This came much faster than anyone expected, and came with some very adept diplomacy....This was pretty remarkable - bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League."
- NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press, March 20.
"I think you can nitpick what happened in Egypt, Obama policy in Egypt, and Libya, but in general I think they've been extremely deft in a very tough situation."
- Time's Mark Halperin on MSNBC's Morning Joe, March 28.
It's "Awesome" Just to Be Near the "Anti-Reagan"
"If you were a kid in the Northeast during the 1980s, as I was, there is something awesome - in the literal sense - about sitting across a desk from Mario Cuomo, even if he now misplaces names and occasionally grasps for the point of an anecdote that has fluttered just out of reach. He was, at that time, the anti-Reagan, a powerful and resonant voice of dissent in the age of Top Gun and Alex P. Keaton. Cuomo, Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson were the three titans of the day who seemed to possess the defiance needed to rescue liberalism from obsolescence."
- Correspondent Matt Bai in an April 10 New York Times Magazine profile of Cuomo.
Another Democratic Pol Gets a Wet Kiss From the Media
"Cory Booker is not your usual politician....Driven, charismatic, a man on a mission, trying to turn around one of the toughest cities in the country....It's made him a celebrity with friends like Bon Jovi and more than a million followers on Twitter....A young ambitious politician often compared to Barack Obama....He truly is a force, and he is so committed. And despite what he says, watch out - in a few years, his friends say they believe they will see him on the national stage."
- NBC correspondent Jamie Gangel's profile of the Democratic Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, on Today, March 22. [Audio/video (2:13): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
AP Gushes Over Obama's Sightseeing Prowess
"At a community center in the heart of the jostling slum, the President plunged into the lives of children there, playing soccer with kids and watching enthralled at a dazzling martial arts display....The President's sightseeing Sunday was sure to endear him even more to a diverse and multicultural country where his personal story already makes him popular."
- Associated Press reporter Jim Kuhnhenn writing about President Obama's trip to Brazil, March 20.
Getting Tingles Over Obama's Brackets
Diane Sawyer: "What about the famous quote from another beleaguered President, Abraham Lincoln, who said he had been driven many times to his knees because his own wisdom and that around him 'was insufficient for the day'?"
President Obama: "I do a lot of praying...."
Sawyer: "Just a final question: How much do you think Kentucky will win by?"
- Excerpts of Sawyer's interview with the President about the U.S. bombing of Libya, ABC's World News, March 29.
"Being president is an ego trip. So you would have thought President Obama wouldn't need to add to his bragging rights. But Mr. Obama's N.C.A.A. men's basketball bracket stands - for the moment, anyway - as one of the best out there....All of which proves one thing: Mr. Obama knows his hoops."
- New York Times writer Michael Shear writing on the newspaper's "Caucus" blog, March 20.
Press Would Have "Barbecued" Bush for Putting Brackets Ahead of World Crises
Co-host Mika Brzezinski: "The President doing his brackets yesterday, and then going to a fundraiser - would we be more critical if this was George W. Bush?"...
Former Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham: "Sure. Because the prevailing media narrative in the Bush years, was that he was isolated and interested in his exercise, and projecting power....Unquestionably, George W. Bush would be criticized more harshly for this sort of thing than Barack Obama is....Bush would have gotten more barbecued for this, and anyone who thinks that he wouldn't is crazy."
- MSNBC's Morning Joe, March 17.
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